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We understand that navigating the graduate jobs market can be tricky (we all started out at Give A Grad A Go as recent grads ourselves) – but our expert team are on-hand to help.
We work with some of the most exciting businesses in the UK, from burgeoning tech startups and SMEs, to global corporations. We know what these companies are looking for in their graduate employees - so we have compiled a guide full of hints and tips to help you land your perfect graduate job.
These pages will take you through each stage of the job hunt covering Your CV, Your Application, Your Interview and Your First Day!
As a recent graduate, your CV should be no longer than two pages. It should be as clear and concise as possible – so use bullet points, and an easy to read font such as Arial or Calibri.
It’s tempting to send hundreds of blanket applications in the hope of landing an interview. However, it’s far better to take time applying for a few positions that you are genuinely interested in.
Go through each job description carefully to get a full understanding of what the role involves. Only apply if you’re sure that the opportunity is something you would genuinely enjoy.
Make sure that you make a detailed note of every application you make. If a company or a recruitment agency call you about an opportunity that you’ve applied for, and you can’t remember applying for it or you don’t know enough about the role, it’s won’t paint a great impression. The more diligent you are about taking note of your applications, the better off you’ll be if you receive any unexpected calls.
While you should carefully choose each opportunity you apply for, this doesn’t mean that you should pigeon-hole yourself into a particular industry or role if you’re not absolutely sure what you want to do. Try to be open minded, research several different industries, and who knows – you may find yourself interested in something you never considered before. If you’re struggling, a good recruitment agency will be able to help you!
Before you meet any potential employers, it’s essential that you research their industry, their company, and your potential role within it. You’ll need to understand what they do, the markets they operate in, how long they’ve been established, who their competitors are, their recent highs and lows, as well as their culture, ethos and values.
While the company website is a good place to start your research, you’ll need to go beyond this to really impress your interviewer. So search the company’s social media channels, take a look to see if they have recently been in the news, and read up on industry-specific blogs.
Preparation is key to acing any graduate job interview.
Start by reading the job description thoroughly, identifying the traits that are being asked for (whether that be leadership, written communication or commercial examples) – and then thinking of examples of when you have demonstrated these skills, so you’re not caught off-guard!
You should also be able to describe what the company does in 3 or 4 sentences, and be able to identify what makes them unique, their place in the market, and who their competitors are.
Candidates who have prepared well and have done their research will always stand out above those who haven’t.
You’ll give off the best impression if you come in prepared on your first day. This means:
While your first day in a new role is always going to be nerve-wracking, it’s important to hide any anxiety and try to be smiley, friendly and upbeat. Introduce yourself to your new colleagues and make conversation with as many people as you can.
In all likelihood, you’ll spend your first day being bombarded with lots of new information – so take a pen and notepad, and jot down anything important so you don’t forget it!
Don’t feel like you’re pestering by asking questions - your new colleagues will expect you to be inquisitive on your first day. Asking questions not only shows your enthusiasm for the role, but can be a great way to get to know your new workmates.